these marriage talks
Catholic Herald Correspondent
CRITICISM of parishes and • ,-4 Catholic organizations which run unauthorized marriage preparation courses for young people is contained in the annual report of the Middlesbrough Centre of the Catholic Marriage Advisory Council, published last week.
Pointing out that only 49 young people attended the series of pre-marriage courses run by the centre during the twelve months till March this year, the report says that this is a "marked decline" on previous years.
"The present situation is not unexpected." it continues. "Boys and girls who were previously encouraged to attend our courses are now being advised that other discussions may be equally well attended.
"This may be so. But we feel bound to report our view that such work. however well intended, fa/, has not been expertly examined and approved, (b). does not amount to real pre-marriage training, (c), results in young people receiving conflicting teaching, (d), sometimes results in imparting erroneous teaching."
On marriage counselling, the report says that 90 applicants were dealt with—fewer than in the previous year. But they required more interviews, an indication that the centre was dealing with really difficult cases.
In 46 per cent of cases, the applicants were Catholics, in 21 per cent, non-Catholics. and in 33 per cent, partners in mixed marriages. The report estimates that, as in previous years. more than half of the completed cases turned out successfully.